Restaurants face the need for speed

Restaurant guests hate having to wait for their food to arrive, having their order taken incorrectly and having to wait when wanting to settle-up.

These are three of the biggest customer ‘bugbears’ to come to light in a new survey of 5,000 people by CGA Peach and Zonal Retail Data Systems in the UK.

The study reveals that time-poor customers value swift service and convenience – and it outlines the challenges operators face in meeting those demands.

Nearly half (47%) of all consumers say food not arriving quickly enough is their biggest frustration when going out for a meal, with another 24% saying their order being taken incorrectly is their leading bugbear.

Many consumers, especially young adults, want to leave the table quickly after eating with one in six (17%) 25 to 34 year-olds saying that not being able to pay quickly and move on is a major frustration.

The use of mobile devices is seen as a good way to overcome these frustrations and the researchers believe that technology lies at the heart of solving these issues.

A third of consumers (34%) told the survey they’d be interested in using their mobile devices to speed up ordering—a figure that rises to more than half (54%) among 18 to 24 year-olds.

And half (51%) of 18 to 44 year-olds say they’re ready to use a mobile to speed up payment.

Notwithstanding this, less than 6% of guests said that they’d already actually used their smartphones or tablets to either speed up ordering or payment.

Previous CGA Peach research has shown that the adoption of technology is a clear and pressing challenge for restaurant operators. From bookings to ordering to payment, new systems can make for a slicker experience for both restaurant and guest – but operators first have to identify the right platforms then help and encourage their customers to use them.

“What’s crystal clear from this research is that consumers won’t wait,” commented Zonal Retail Data Systems’ Chief Executive Stuart McLean, “Competition is fierce and people know that if their restaurant or pub doesn’t give them speed and convenience, there are plenty of others who will.

“We need to make life for our customers as easy as possible and the brands that identify the systems and processes to achieve that will be the ones that win the race.”

All figures are taken from CGA Peach’s survey of a representative sample of 5,000 adults all of whom have eaten out at least once in the past six months. Research was conducted last August.



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